The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised with Follow-up (M-CHAT-R/F) is used worldwide to screen for autism spectrum disorder (ASD).


To calculate psychometric properties of the M-CHAT-R/F for subsequent diagnosis of ASD.


Systematic searches of Medline, Embase, SCOPUS, and Trip Pro databases from January 2014 to November 2021.


Studies were included if they (1) used the M-CHAT-R/F (2) applied standard scoring protocol, (3) used a diagnostic assessment for ASD, and (4) reported at least 1 psychometric property of the M-CHAT-R/F.


Two independent reviewers completed screening, full-text review, data extraction, and quality assessment, following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses guidelines. A random-effects model was used to derive pooled estimates and assess for between-study heterogeneity.


Of 667 studies identified, 15 with 18 distinct samples from 10 countries (49 841 children) were used in the meta-analysis. Pooled positive predictive value (PPV), was 57.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] 48.6–66.8, τ2 = 0.031). PPV was higher among high-risk (75.6% [95% CI 66.0–85.2]) than low-risk samples (51.2% [95% CI 43.0–59.5]). Pooled negative predictive value was 72.5% (95% CI 62.5–82.4 τ2 = 0.031), sensitivity was 82.6% (95% CI 76.2–88.9) and specificity 45.7% (95% CI 25.0–66.4).


Negative predictive value, sensitivity, and specificity were calculated based on small sample sizes because of limited or no evaluation of screen-negative children.


These results support use of the M-CHAT-R/F as a screening tool for ASD. Caregiver counseling regarding likelihood of an ASD diagnosis after positive screen should acknowledge the moderate PPV.

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